Years ago, a man walked the earth and revealed a life so unique it became the central point in human history. A man, who, "though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men" (Philippians 2:5-8).
Though He was human and divine, the Son of Man had nothing in the natural that would have attracted others to him. Yet in three years, He healed the sick, fed the poor, ministered to the brokenhearted, cast out evil spirits, brought sight to the blind and gave hope to the hopeless. His message was radical and His love, unparalleled. Prostitutes, politicians, beggars and kings all were the same to Him and equally deserving of love — not because of their worthiness but because God, being the very definition of Love, could do no less. He told us to live simply, to give generously and to love unconditionally.
"Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." (John 15:13), Jesus told His disciples. We need to remind ourselves that in those terrible hours Jesus hung on the cross, it was all about love. We can't comprehend that kind of allconsuming, all-powerful Love, but we can spend the rest of our lives living in wholehearted response to it.
How do we do that? "Walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him, bearing fruit in every good work and increasing in the knowledge of God" (Colossians 1:10, emphases added].
It's clear we please Jesus by bearing fruit. But what kind of fruit? The fruit that comes from every good work. Ephesians 2:10 says, "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works...that we should walk in them." This is our purpose, one we have been gloriously restored to by the Resurrection and which flows naturally from our restored identity. Works cannot save us, but without the fruit of good works, we lack the evidence that identifies us as new creations in Christ! Just as God's nature is revealed in what He does, we reveal His nature in what we do.What are these good works? While feeding the poor, clothing the naked and visiting the needy are expressions of the Christian life, they represent only a partial "list" of the works Jesus performed. For a complete list, read the Word with the sole intent of identifying every action verb — those "good works" that both Jesus and His disciples practiced; then pray that His Holy Spirit will empower you to "go and do likewise!" Halleluiah, He is Risen!
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Occasionally, I come across a sermon by a popular preacher teaching that the Bible promises God's followers a life free from misfortune.
There's an Arabian proverb that says, "Four things do not come back: the spent arrow, the spoken word, time passed and the neglected opportunity."